Dunmore East Price: €795,000
Size: 246sq m (2,650sq ft)
A great many hours of television viewing went in the remaking of Copper Beech in Dunmore East - which has been transformed from a B&B into an ultra-stylish family home.
"We watched Grand Designs, Dermot Bannon’s Room to Improve and Charlie Luton's Homes by the Sea and every home improvement programme we could for more than a year,” reveals the female half of the renovating couple.
Full of ideas on what they wanted to do and how they wanted to do it, they went in search a new home and a chance to put them into practice.
When they found it, Copper Beech was a 1970s bungalow, which as a result of several extensions had a very sizeable 2,650sq ft of living space. "Previously a B&B and then a holiday home, it had a very high number of small en-suite bedrooms," say the owners who were very taken by its sea views and its possibilities.
They bought it in 2016 with the intention of refurbishing it but found it necessary to almost rebuild it. "To reconfigure the layout the way we wanted, with the windows we wanted, the builder said we had to replace the roof, so we did," they add.
Taking inspiration from Dermot Bannon and other TV home improvers, they set light and energy efficiency as their top priorities. Making the most of the harbour views out front was also very high up on their agenda.
"We put in large triple-glazed Aluclad windows and an air to water heating system we saw at the RDS Home show.
"We also insulated the floors, walls and the roof and brought the BER rating up from an E to an A3." In addition to putting in patio doors and full length windows they added multiple roof lights and two internal windows, a feature they think they saw on Grand Designs. "My wife wanted so much glass that the builder asked if she had been a goldfish in a previous existence,’’ quips her other half.
To put in the full height windows they wanted at the front, they had to change the shape of the roof. It now has large flat sections, which, together with the high level of glazing, give Copper Beech a striking contemporary appearance.
The owners gutted the interior and remade it, creating large stylish rooms similar to the ones you find in interiors magazines or on home improvement TV programmes.
One of the most striking design features they added is a sleek open tread walnut staircase flanked by glass balustrades in the hallway. "We wanted this type of stairs so we could keep as much light as possible in the hall and we had it designed by a company in Kilkenny," they say. Lit by a large roof light and a huge picture window, the hallway is an ultra modern space with tiled timber effect flooring and large colourful paintings on its white walls.
Throughout the house the walls are white while the floors have either tiled (with timber effect) or walnut. "We painted the walls white to create a black canvas and brought in colour in the furnishings," explain the couple.
The main room in the house is a kitchen/ dining/ living area, which has a white and grey colour scheme with some splashes of blue. The owners kept it very neutral in order to ensure that the focal point would be the view from the full length front windows.
"From here can see out across the harbour to the Wexford coastline and you can watch the fishing boats, the yachts and the cruise liners go by," add the owners.
The kitchen has sleek handleless white units which blend with the white walls and also a large island with a white Dekton countertop flecked with grey. The living area has an insert stove, grey and blue furnishing and large windows. Because light was a key priority, this space had two roof lights and a long narrow side window.
Also at the front of the house, with a full-length window from which the owners observe the sea through a telescope, is a walnut-floored sitting. Here they have chosen rich shades of red, gold and aubergine for the furnishing and furniture.
At the back of the house there is a large utility room, a tiled gym/playroom as well as a walnut floored sitting room/study and a guest bedroom with an en-suite.
The upstairs has three walnut floored bedrooms including two at the front with floor to ceiling windows. "You can watch the traffic in the harbour from here and see right across to Wexford," reveal the owners. The flat-roof section at the front could, with the addition of glass balustrades, make an excellent roof terrace.
Outside, the property has a porcelain tiled patio and parking at the front and a paved patio and a lawned garden at the rear.
Still watching home improvement programmes every chance they get, the couple have put Copper Beech on the market and are making plans to do it all again.
Quoting a guide of €795,000, selling agents Palmer Auctioneers say this is a magnificent property with a highly impressive A3 BER. "It’s centrally located close to all amenities – the harbour, the sailing club and the park are within minutes' walk and Stoney Cove is just across the road."
Verdict: Shows just how much you can learn from watching TV. Dermot Bannon would surely approve.